After several months of anticipation, Palm Springs, the latest Andy Samberg vehicle from Hulu, made it’s way to the Prime Video streaming platform in Australia—meaning I was able to finally watch the darn thing after watching the trailer ad nauseum. As someone who loves the film Groundhog Day, I was naturally drawn to what looked to be a modern take on the infinite time-loop scenario. So was Palm Springs worth the wait? Yes, very much yes it was.
Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs takes the infinite time-loop concept of Groundhog Day and flips it on its head. Unlike Groundhog Day which sees Bill Murray repeat the titular day over and over, Palm Springs explores what it would be like to share that experience with someone else.
Set at a wedding in Palm Springs, we learn that Samberg’s character, Niles, has been stuck in the loop for an immeasurable amount of time and has completely given up on trying to escape the loop—just embracing the fact that he is in this situation nothing really matters anymore. One thing leads to another and Milioti’s character, Sarah, finds herself stuck in the loop alongside Niles. From here, the film hits the ground running in a flurry of attempted suicide, all out chaos, a killer plot twist featuring JK Simmons, and montage of the two ultimately just doing whatever the hell they want since, as Niles says, nothing really matters.
Over the course of the film, we see Niles and Sarah bond over their shared predicament before ultimately coming to conflict over whether to figure out a way out of this loop or just live together infinitely in it. There are plenty of twists and surprises throughout the film, which has some truly laugh out loud moments. This may very well be Samberg’s finest comedic effort in film and Milioti proves she can match him well with her own comedic chops.
Despite its ridiculousness and comedy, at its heart, Palm Springs is a film about finding purpose and meaning. Before they were stuck in the loop, both our protagonists struggled with that, and we see them discover those things with each other’s help throughout the course of their shared time in the loop.
All in all, Palm Springs is a fantastic film that is cleverly written and superbly acted by our two leads. It isn’t just a Groundhog Day knock off, it truly reinvents the wheel and stands on its own as one of 2020’s best films. If you’re looking for a good time, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend an hour and a half of your time. Palm Springs was worth the wait and, like the infinite loop in the film, I am sure I’ll find myself rewatching this film over and over.